Even though laptop sales are expected to shrink in 2016, Chromebooks are set to beat the market and post healthy growth figures. The latest data from market research firm TrendForce projects that the global laptop market will reduce in size by 5.1 percent in 2016, compared to last year, while Chromebooks shipments are expected to grow between 30-40%.
This year has seen Android app support begin to roll out for Chromebooks. Although they offered web apps, the introduction of the Play Store beings with it a considerably greater range of productivity and entertainment options than were previously available.
Retail pricing is one obvious issue that has aided the growth in Chromebook sales. Despite an increase in the number of higher-end machines being produced in 2016, Chromebooks still typically cost less than Windows or OS X laptops.
Trendforce also noted that Microsoft has chosen to increase the licence fees it charges manufacturers to include Windows on their devices.
With Windows laptops subsequently more expensive to produce, manufacturers have switched some of their attention towards Chromebooks.
“Another important factor is Microsoft’s attempt to raise licence fees for Windows,” TrendForce analyst Anita Wang explained. “This encouraged notebook vendors to shift some their sales focus to Chromebooks, which feature a royalty-free operating system.”
There was no change in the order of the top Chromebook manufacturers, as far as market share is concerned, with Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and ASUS ranked from one to five respectively.